Skip to main content

Restaurant gift cards are the ultimate culinary gift, serving as a token of appreciation benefiting both diners and restaurateurs. They’re designed for gifting and come preloaded with a set value, allowing recipients to enjoy meals, drinks, and more at their chosen restaurant. 

Beyond this, restaurant gift cards serve as valuable tools for restaurants. They attract new customers, foster loyalty, and boost revenue, making them an integral part of the modern dining landscape.  

Over the years, gift cards’ popularity has soared thanks to their convenience, value, and adaptability to digital trends, highlighting their importance in the evolving restaurant landscape. About 50% of consumers in the U.S. said they planned to buy gift cards due to how convenient they are.

Throughout this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits and offer insights & tips for a successful restaurant gift card program. 

Harnessing immediate revenue  

Restaurant gift cards serve as a powerful tool for businesses, functioning not only as a thoughtful gesture but also as a source of immediate revenue. Essentially, these gift cards are a form of free financing – money upfront without the immediate need to serve up a meal.  

Additionally, when restaurant gift card recipients come to redeem their cards, they often end up spending more than the card’s value, turning a simple card into extra revenue for the restaurant. Nearly 61% of consumers spend more than a gift card’s value when redeeming, for an average of $31.75 more than the card’s value.  

Not only does it increase revenue, but it encourages customers to return for more. Once someone has enjoyed a meal using a restaurant gift card, they’re more likely to become repeat customers. Whether it’s to finish off the remaining balance or to explore the restaurant’s offerings further.   

Expanding customer base 

Restaurant gift cards are a dynamic tool for expanding the customer base by reaching out to new patrons through gift card purchases. Using marketing through gift cards and extending the reach of the restaurant creates a ripple effect as recipients redeem their cards, potentially becoming loyal customers themselves.  

The power of gift cards opens the door to opportunities for cross-promotion and partnerships. Collaborating with other businesses, such as local shops, theaters, or entertainment venues, to offer joint deals that attract a broader audience. This strategy creates a win-win situation where customers get added value and restaurants benefit from exposure to new guests.  

Gift cards are like walking billboards, as they serve as brand advertisements. When customers buy or give someone a gift card, they carry the restaurant’s brand with them, whether it’s in their wallet or shared during conversations. It acts as mini advertisements that guests receive from trusted endorsements.  

Enhancing customer loyalty 

Not only do restaurant gift cards serve as a tool for revenue and advertising, but also for cultivating a sense of loyalty and connection with customers. When patrons receive a gift card, it implies trust and belief in the dining experience, fostering positive feelings for new customers. A gift card is more than a financial transaction; when gifted, it represents a connection with the restaurant, creating a sense of belonging and loyalty.  

In addition, these cards can act as an alternative option instead of cash refunds. If a refund is needed, giving a gift card allows customers to come back later and enjoy the restaurant. This helps the restaurant avoid losing money right away, and it keeps customers feeling positive about the business because they can still experience the dining they were looking forward to. 

Tips for implementing a successful gift card program 

Whether you’re a small business looking to boost revenue or a larger establishment aiming to enhance customer engagement, our tips will guide you through the process of implementing a successful restaurant gift card program.  

1. Design and branding

Ensure your restaurant gift cards are visually appealing and align with your brand. Consider incorporating elements of your business’s theme, logo, or signature dishes into the design to make it memorable.  


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Oh My Juice (@ohmyjuicewaco)

(Source: Oh My Juice Instagram)

2. Marketing and promotion

Implement a strategic marketing plan to promote your gift card program. Leverage various channels, including social media, email, and in-house promotions. Consider special occasions, holidays, or events to push gift card sales.  

3. User-friendly process

Make the setting up and use of your gift card simple and convenient for both staff and customers. Clearly communicate how and where gift cards can be redeemed and train staff to handle transactions efficiently. Integrate gift card processing into your point-of-sale (POS) system to ensure smooth transactions. 

 4. Online and mobile accessibility

Optimize your restaurant gift card program for online and mobile accessibility. Provide customers with the option to purchase and redeem gift cards through your website or a mobile app. This caters to the preferences of tech-savvy consumers. 

 5. Cross-promotions and partnerships

Enhance the appeal of your gift card by partnering with other businesses for cross-promotions. For example, you could bundle a gift card with a complimentary dessert or collaborate with a local movie theatre for a joint promotion. These perks can make your offer more enticing to customers 

Get a slice of CAKE’s gift cards 

In conclusion, establishing a successful restaurant gift card program requires a strategic blend of thoughtful design, effective marketing, and seamless execution. By gaining this valuable insight and incorporating these tips into your approach, you can boost revenue, foster customer loyalty, and more.  

Integrating CAKE’s gift card program into the restaurant POS ensures simple reloads and reuses, making it a seamless experience for both customers and staff. Allow guests to redeem their value online or in-store on restaurant kiosks for maximum flexibility and convenience. 

When it comes to a restaurant gift card program that transforms transactions into experiences and propels business growth, CAKE Point of Sale emerges as the superior choice in a competitive market. 

Close Menu